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Ninth Inning Dooms Miami Baseball in Sunday Loss to Georgia Tech

March 27, 2011

rodriguezgtheader.jpg
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Buck Farmer (4-1)
Georgia Tech 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 5 1 L: Adam Sargent (1-2)
Miami 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 S: Luke Bard (3)
Batting

2B: C. Mack, B. Fieger, J. Esch, M. Skole, Z. Evans
3B: N/A
RBI: Z. DeVoss, M. Skole, Z. Evans, S. Dove
SB: D. Carey, J. Esch

Videos
Box Score Get Acrobat Reader | Season Stats Get Acrobat Reader | Postgame Notes Get Acrobat Reader | UM vs. GT Series Stats Get Acrobat Reader

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Matt Skole’s RBI double to right center in the ninth inning was just enough to allow 12th-ranked Georgia Tech a series sweep of the 29th-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes with a 3-1 victory in ACC baseball on Sunday afternoon inside Alex Rodriguez Park.

After Miami (14-11, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) starting pitcher Eric Whaley kept the score tied at one heading into the eighth, the Hurricanes went to the bullpen as Whaley had thrown 113 pitches to that point.

The Yellow Jackets (21-4, 9-0 ACC) were held in check by reliever Adam Sargent  in the eighth, but took advantage of the Hurricanes’ inability to secure timely hits throughout the game as the two teams went into the ninth deadlocked, 1-1.

Georgia Tech’s Jacob Esch started the frame with a double down the left field line – brining UMiami veteran head coach Jim Morris to the mound for a pitching change, electing to go with junior left-hander Sam Robinson. The Rambling Wreck’s Matt Skole drove the second pitch he saw from Robinson out to the left centerfield wall, switching places with Esch for what would eventually be the game-winning hit and score.

Later in the inning, Georgia Tech put on a squeeze bunt – as Zane Evans laid down a sacrifice bunt that plated Skole, who was streaking from third base on the pitch from Robinson. The move worked, and put up the final score of 3-1 on the board.

The Yellow Jackets used just two pitchers in the game, making the move to the bullpen for closer Luke Bard in the ninth to try and collect the save. After Nathan Melendres went down swinging, the ‘Canes had yet another chance to tie the game when shortstop Harold Martinez was hit by a pitch to put a man aboard with one out.

Michael Broad stepped into the box for the Hurricanes – facing a 2-0 count, but it was Bard who got Broad to hit into Miami’s third double play of the series – going 5-4-3 to end the game. The save was Bard’s third of the season in just an inning of work and eight total pitches – also moving the Yellow Jackets’ winning streak to 16 consecutive games.

The win went to Georgia Tech starter Buck Farmer, picking up his fourth win of the season – striking out a season-high nine batters while allowing just a single run (unearned) on three hits scattered in eight complete frames on the rubber.

The loss for the Hurricanes went to Sargent, dropping his record to 1-2 on the year. For UM, it was the second consecutive loss for the bullpen after rolling off 23 consecutive scoreless innings as a unit prior to Saturday’s setback.

Failing to factor into the decision was UM sophomore Eric Whaley who fanned a career-high 10 batters, allowing just the one run on two hits and walking just a single batter. He now owns 19 strikeouts in his last two weekend starts, including a team-leading four wins.

The series sweep by the Yellow Jackets – winners of four consecutive against the Hurricanes – is the first of its kind in Coral Gables, and the first sweep of Miami since 1967. It was also the first time Miami has been swept at home by an opponent since Clemson in 2006.

Miami took its first lead of the weekend in the home-half of the third inning, as sophomore Zeke DeVoss’ RBI fielder’s choice pushed across freshman Brad Fieger, who began the Hurricanes’ at-bat with a double down the right field line. Georgia Tech would eventually tie things up in the fifth when Sam Dove’s single to right plated designated hitter Daniel Palka who was hit by a pitch to begin the frame.

Georgia Tech was led on the day offensively by five players with a single hit apiece, but highlighted by the game-winning RBI double from Skole. He finished the day 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Miami used the bat of Fieger with a 1-for-3 showing at the plate, also scoring the team’s lone run of the afternoon. Chantz Mack and Shane Rowland also secured hits for Miami. Mack has now hit safely in his last three contests.

Miami will step back on the diamond Tuesday at 6 p.m., hosting Florida Gulf Coast for the second time in as many weeks. The two teams met last Wednesday, with the ‘Canes earning a 5-2 win in Coral Gables.

Starting pitchers for that game have yet to be announced by either team.

For ticket information for the 2011 baseball season, call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit Hurricanesports.com.

Live stats for the game will be provided through Game Tracker at HurricaneSports.com. Fans can also join the live chat, provided by Cover It Live, by visiting HurricaneSports.com as well.

For more information on the University of Miami baseball team, please log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM Baseball Team via twitter, please navigate to Twitter.com/CanesBaseball. You can also access the official UMiami Baseball blog at TheUBaseball.com.

You can keep up-to-date with all UM Athletics via twitter at Twitter.com/HurricaneSports.  You can also become a fan of the ‘Canes on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.

University of Miami Postgame Notes:

With the loss, the Hurricanes are now…

  • 14-11 overall
  • 6-3 in ACC play
  • 47-29-2 all-time versus Georgia Tech
  • 11-6 at Alex Rodriguez Park this season
  • 8-6 in games when the opponent starts a right-handed pitcher
  • 9-2 when scoring first

 

Today’s Starters
Harold Martinez made his third straight start at shortstop in place of the injured Stephen Perez. Martinez started at shortstop every game of this series, and has started all 25 games this season. Freshman catcher Shane Rowland made his first start of the series behind the plate and batted eighth in the lineup.

A Career Day
Starting pitcher Eric Whaley continues to pitch brilliantly, striking out a career-high 10 batters through seven innings.  He only gave up one run on two hits, but did not factor in the decision. For Whaley, it was his third consecutive start with eight-or-more strikeouts, and his fourth of the season.

Let’s Go Streaking
Georgia Tech came into the game riding a 15-game win streak, and extended that streak to 16 with the win. After coming into the series with a nine-game winning streak and 6-0 in the ACC, the ‘Canes were not able to beat Georgia Tech this weekend. It was the first time Georgia Tech had ever swept the Hurricanes in Coral Gables, and the first sweep overall by Georgia tech since 1967. The last time the ‘Canes were swept by anyone at home was Clemson in 2006.

All Good things come to an end
Reliever Sam Robinson gave up a run in the top of the ninth inning. For Robinson, it was his first earned run given up after 17 2/3 innings this season.

Series History
Today’s match-up was the 78th all-time meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1958.

Memory Lane
Miami head coach Jim Morris is familiar with the Yellow Jackets, having coached the Georgia Tech program from 1982-93, winning 504 games at the helm in Atlanta.

Spotless Performance
After committing a combined 10 errors in games on Wednesday (Florida Gulf Coast) and Friday (Georgia Tech), the Miami defense responded with back-to-back error-free performances on Saturday and Sunday against the Rambling Wreck.